I just came back from a few days in Janas (Portugal) with Sophie. We stayed at the beautiful little eco farm Aldeia, which was home to a few workers, volunteers, animals and some Airbnb-people (including us). I bought a camera a while ago, and Portugal was the perfect place to spend some time practicing while also gathering some (read: a lot) images to share in a blog (’cause that’s been a while innit).
We’d wanted to go to a warm place, where we could swim in the sea. On our first evening the helpful man in the supermarket told us not only that the wine we chose was fine, but also that the shore close to Janas wasn’t great for swimming: cold and wild. And it was just that: cold and wild. But I’d say it was perfect.
The first day of our little holiday (we landed at around 1, so we had a little day left) we went to Praia de Maças, by mistake kind of (Sophie let me guide us, always a mistake, I’ve let all my friends swear to never trust my guiding instincts but I still convince them to follow them and most of the times we then get lost), it took us an 60 minutes walk and it was too cold to swim. So we dipped in our feet and walked the 60 minutes back.
The second day Sophie (and Google maps) led the way and we ended up at Azenhos do Mar after a 30 min walk. There, they’d created a little pool next to the ocean. This water was still cold, but (most of the time) calm enough to swim in. Waves would come crashing over whenever tide was coming in, bringing in new water, showing off like fireworks. Such a beautiful thing; to see, hear and feel the overwhelming strength of the ocean. And so, even though I brought 3 books, the first two days I hardly read: I was just immersing myself in the water, or watching the waves come and go, unfold, crash, crawl back into the mass.
When we arrived at the beach in the morning, I saw a guy holding a small dog, staring out over the ocean together. In the evening I saw him come back and of course, it was such a hilarious sight; I haddddd to snap a picture of the two.
The sunny and hot weather was a nice counterbalance to the cold and wild ocean. Also the margaritas and beer helped to ward off the warmth.
Guarddogs EVERYWHERE. Some with chains. Sad.
After two whole days of being in and near the ocean we went to Sintra, a little town in the neighborhood of Janas. The weather was amazing and all the colorful houses were so nice. Seeing those always makes me wish we had those in the Netherlands.
We even saw a garden with an amazing monstera.
Well look at me posing casually. This house tho.
There even was a little vegan restaurant! It was decorates in the most horrible/funny way; a little fairy forest section, a dolphin section, a buddhist section. But the pie we had was so good. And the old lady running it (all by herself!) was so sweet.
On the fourth day, our last day, we went to Azenhos do Mar again. It was foggy, but warm, even the sea felt warmer than it had in the previous days.
We kept forgetting to take a picture together, so this was the only one which was sort of nice.
At the end of the day we said goodbye to the sea. I always have the habit of saying goodbye and thanking ocean. Feels like the right way to end a visit to her waters.
The little farm we stayed on was just too sweet. So many plants outside, beautiful stone floors inside. The people were sweet and welcoming, the food was nice, the animals were the best. On the last evening we walked around to look at the gardens.
We made up names for all the cats and the dog. This was Donnie, he was the boss around. Underneath is Belinda.
And here we have Tom Hanks (above) and Dolfje (after Dolfje Weerwolfje:)). Such cuties.
We ate at the Aldeia restaurant 3 times (vegan options yay!) and cooked twice. All the vegetables were grown on the farm. So tasty.
Apart from the dog and cats, they also had an old horse, some roosters (which were screaming as if someone was hurting them ALL the time), some sheep and some pigs.
On the morning we left (at 6 in the morning) I finally remembered to take a picture of this amaaaazing fruitbowl. I WANT THIS FRUITBOWL.
In the end I did finish a book (Circe, it was lovely) and started another (The Vegetarian). Usually one of my favorite things of going away is reading a lot. But the ocean was just too beautiful to not look at, and time spent watching her just meant hours flying by. It was time well spent.